Antisperm antibodies are designed to inhibit sperms from doing what they are meant to do. This is often the case whenever your immune system identifies your sperm as a potential threat. It then works to eliminate the sperm and destroy it (1). These antibodies are quite rare, but they make it impossible for a couple to conceive when they appear. It is worth noting that both men and women can make these anti-sperm antibodies.
Things to Know About Antisperm Antibodies and Vasovasostomies
What Causes Antisperm Antibodies?
The most common cause in men is usually an injury to the prostate or testicles. Infections could also trigger these antibodies in these same regions. When this happens, your immune system swings into action when both sperm and blood cross paths. During a vasectomy reversal procedure, the surgery often triggers such an occurrence. In women, antibodies are produced if the woman’s body is allergic to semen. They act to destroy sperm after the immune system triggers this response.
Influence of Antisperm Antibodies after a Vasectomy Reversal
Facilities where you get your vasectomy reversal procedure often offer you a semen analysis service after your operation. This step is especially crucial to help determine whether the surgery was a success. The basis on which this analysis is built essentially revolves around three things: the number of sperm, overall sperm health, and mobility and appearance of the sperm. There are also other factors at play to determine vasovasostomy effectiveness.
Antisperm antibodies, for instance, attract a lot of mixed reactions from most men due to the unclear details revolving around their existence (2). For a vasectomy reversal to be considered a success, live sperm has to appear from the tests. Otherwise, the procedure is deemed unsuccessful.
However, a successful vasectomy reversal is not influenced by antisperm antibodies (3). At this point, a lot of questions may arise, making the patient worry about certain things. They may worry about the sperm count, mobility, or even the normality of the sperm. Antibodies are essential here in that they play a huge role in making it possible for a pregnancy to happen.
Tests to Determine the Presence of Antisperm Antibodies
Testing for antisperm antibodies is usually done during semen analysis after a vasectomy procedure. This test attracts a lot of uncertainty for the simple reason that the presence of these antibodies could inhibit the chances of a successful pregnancy. These antibodies are present after a vasovasostomy as your body’s response to the initial vasectomy surgery. Interestingly, the test is that it doesn’t influence sperm production even after a reversal procedure.
Treatment for Antibodies
After a vasectomy reversal, if you find that conceiving is proving to be a difficult task, it would be best to talk to a doctor about it. The physician would recommend that you undergo fertility tests together with your partner. One aspect of these tests usually involves monitoring for the presence of antisperm antibodies.
If they are the reason behind this problem, the doctor may prescribe meds that seek to limit how your immune system responds. After that, the antibodies are now fewer increasing chances of conception.
Vasovasostomy Effectiveness and Antisperm Antibodies Effect
Depending on how long ago you got your vasectomy, it is possible to conceive after a vasovasostomy. Discuss with your doctor how best you can improve your chances at conception after the procedure.
Links to Sources Used:
- Role of Antisperm Antibodies in Infertility, Pregnancy, and Potential for Contraceptive and Antifertility Vaccine Designs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6789593/
- Quantification of anti-sperm antibody and soluble MICA/MICB levels in the serum of infertile people of the Li ethnic group in China https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4694464/
- Diagnosis and treatment of immunologically infertile males with antisperm antibodies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5906991/